POWER PLAYERS: 35 of Google’s top decision-makers in Europe, covering everything from

Google employs tens of thousands of people throughout Europe, with around 10% of its 135,000-strong workforce in the UK and Ireland alone.

As regulators on the continent work to catch up with new technological advances, the internet giant faces increasing pressure to keep on top of its game, warding off internal dissent, growing tensions with rivals, and the threat of being broken up altogether.

With this in mind, Insider compiled a list of 35 of Google’s most powerful executives in the region, highlighting senior managers who cover everything from cloud computing to adtech and Android. Check it out below.

Matt Brittin

Role: President of EMEA business and operations

Hired in: 2007

Based in: UK 

Previous experience: Previously a stalwart of two of Britain’s biggest firms — the newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror (now Reach PLC) and the supermarket giant Sainsbury’s — Brittin helped build Google’s business in the UK. A decade ago, he moved to oversee the company’s European operations, and he’s become a big name on the continent in tech-policy circles.

Annette Kroeber-Riel

Annette Kroeber-Riel, Google

Role: VP of government affairs and public policy

Hired in: 2007

Based in: Germany

Previous experience: Since joining the tech giant 14 years ago, Kroeber-Riel has worked her way up through the ranks and is regularly snapped side by side with CEO Sundar Pichai. She was previously the head of government relations for the internet firm Verisign and has volunteered with Human Rights Watch. 

Anne Rooney

Role: Head of public policy and government relations, EMEA

Hired in: 2016 

Based in: Ireland

Previous experience: Like her boss Brittin, Rooney has prior experience in a leading role at one of Europe’s biggest supermarket chains — Tesco in Ireland. Following a brief stint as the director of communications for the Construction Industry Federation, Rooney has retained her public-policy role at Google since joining five years ago. 

Marco Pancini

Marco Pancini

Role: Director of public policy at YouTube, EMEA

Hired in: 2007 

Based in: Belgium

Previous experience: Once Google’s senior policy counsel in Europe, Pancini previously served in a similar position for eBay in Italy. He took the reins of YouTube’s EU policy department in 2018.

Marcin Olender

Marcin Olender

Role: Public policy and government relations manager, Central and Eastern Europe

Hired in: 2015 

Based in: Poland

Previous experience: Before Google, Olender — a public-sector convert — oversaw the Polish government’s European affairs at the Ministry of Administration and Digitization. He previously studied law at the University of Warsaw. 

Karie Jo Barwind

Role: Regional ethics and compliance counsel, EMEA

Hired in: 2011

Based in: UK

Previous experience: Barwind is — quite literally — an all-singing, all-dancing legal expert, having graduated from Syracuse University with a musical-theater degree in the 1990s. After that, she attended Cornell Law School and went on to lead Abbott Laboratories’ ethics and compliance efforts.

Craig Fenton

Craig Fenton, Google UK Ireland and southern Europe ops lead

Role: Director of strategy and operations, UK, Ireland, and Southern Europe

Hired in: 2017

Based in: UK

Previous experience: Fenton is a self-described founder, investor, YouTuber, and author. Prior to his role at Google, he set up Big Community Records, a music label “with a social purpose.” He shared his experiences of the endeavor in a TedX Talk earlier this year.

Cristina Melnic

Google Senior Policy Specialist, Trust & Safety EMEA Cristina Melnic

Role: Senior policy specialist, EMEA

Hired in: 2015 

Based in: Moldova

Previous experience: Since graduating from the University of Oxford with a master’s in history, Melnic has worked her way up Google’s chain of command, rising from an account strategist in the marketing department to one of the company’s leading lights in political advertising.

Thierry Geerts

Thierry Geerts, Google director of Belgium

Role: Country director, Belgium

Hired in: 2011

Based in: Belgium

Previous experience: Google’s top man in Brussels describes himself as holding expertise in digital transformation, people management, digital strategy, and marketing.

In the words of one senior colleague, writing on LinkedIn: “Thierry is straight-talking. You always know where you are with him, and he stands up for what he believes in. He can quickly identify the crux of any problem.”


Benoît Tabaka

Benoit Tabaka, Google

Role: Director of government affairs and public policy, Google France

Hired in: 2012

Based in: France

Previous experience: As the EU continues to clamp down on Big Tech, it’s no secret that Sundar Pichai and his fellow CEOs see leading European nations such as France and Germany as key targets. Tabaka, once a key member of the French Digital Council, is Pichai’s man on the ground in Paris.

Ria Strasser-Galvis

Role: Europe policy lead

Hired in: 2016 

Based in: US

Previous experience: Before signing a contract with Google five years ago, Strasser-Galvis worked as a desk officer at the State Department, and later as an analyst at the Government Accountability Office. She now takes a lead on European policy from her office in Washington, DC.

Tom Hulme

Tom Hulme Google GV lead in Europe

Role: Head of GV in Europe

Hired in: 2014

Based in: UK

Previous experience: A graduate of Harvard Business School, Hulme previously founded OpenIDEO, “an open innovation platform where people from all corners of the world collaboratively tackle some of the toughest global issues.” The startup won a coveted Webby Award in 2011.

Since taking the reins of GV, formerly Google Ventures, in Europe, Hulme has overseen investments in firms such as Secret Escapes, Cambridge Epigenetix, GoCardless, and Oxford Sciences Innovation.

Cathy Collins

Role: Head of new business, Southern Europe

Hired in: 2011

Based in: Ireland

Previous experience: Collins has steadily risen through Google’s ranks since joining the company a decade ago. She started as an online sales manager before moving to a more senior role in Australia, where she curated the company’s relationship with the automotive sector.

In 2019 she moved back to Dublin to oversee operations in the UK and Ireland, and she added her current title to her list of responsibilities a few months later.

Ksenia Duxfield-Karyakina

Ksenia Duxfield-Karyakina, Google

Role: Public policy and government relations manager, Google Cloud

Hired in: 2011

Based in: UK

Previous experience: Duxfield-Karyakina, a Russia native, has spent a full decade with one of the world’s biggest tech companies. Previously, she was the head of PR for Russian Railways, and then did a two-year stint with Eurasian Group on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Julienne Ernst

Julienne Ernst, Google central Europe lead

Role: International growth manager, Central Europe

Hired in: 2018

Based in: UK

Previous experience: A graduate of the University of Oxford, Ernst started her career by interning at the UN. Before her move to Google, she took a marketing role with the tech giant HP and did a four-year stint at McKinsey.

Tamzin Taylor

Tamzin Taylor, Head of Google Play Partnerships in Europe

Role: Head of Google Play partnerships, Western Europe

Hired in: 2012

Based in: UK

Previous experience: A graduate of both the London School of Economics and Harvard Business School, Taylor earned her stripes at mobile-driven firms such as Vodafone and Virgin.

Since joining Google as an ads-solution specialist, she’s worked as the company’s head of Android partnerships for Australia and New Zealand, and she’s led business-development projects for new Play apps in the UK and the Nordics. 

Pip White

Pip White

Role: Managing director of Google Cloud in the UK and Ireland

Hired in: 2020

Based in: UK

Previous experience: Google employs more than 12,000 people in the UK and Ireland, accounting for around 10% of the tech giant’s global workforce. One of the newest among them is Pip White, the onetime Salesforce executive snapped up by Google last June and charged…

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